When news broke Friday that the United States Supreme Court would take up two gay marriage cases, St. Pete Patch posted a few questions on Facebook. Should gay marriage be legal in Florida? Should there be a new federal law allowing it?
Patch wanted to know what St. Pete thought about same-sex marriages. According to those that responded, 90 percent agreed it should be legal.
"'Allowing it'" It should be a given!" wrote Sheree Rensel.
"Marriage is a legal status that should be afforded all US citizens," wrote Diane McSpiritt. "Those that have a problem with 'religious' use of the word marriage need to come up with a new name for religious unions and allow the legal term marriage to stand for all citizens. Why we are still discussing this in 2012 is beyond me."
Bill O'Grady wrote, "It is just 'marriage' and should be between any two adults who decide to make the commitment. Simple, really."
Earlier this year St. Petersburg, along with Tampa and various cities in Pinellas County, passed a domestic partnership registry.
In St. Pete, the registry allows couples — gay or straight — health-care visitations, health-care decision should a partner become incapacitated, funeral/burial decisions, become part of required notifications in emergency situation, declared “pre-need” guardian and education rights and decisions of partner’s dependent, as long as no objection from the biological parent.
According to The New York Times, the two cases will be heard in 2013.
"One of the cases, from California, could establish or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The justices could also rule on narrower grounds that would apply only to marriages in California.
The second case, from New York, challenges a federal law that requires the federal government to deny benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions."
Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and Washington D.C.
According to a new poll, a majority of Americans favor either gay marriage or civil unions.
"A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll found 40 percent of those surveyed said that same-sex couples should be able to be legally married. Thirty percent thought same-sex couples should be able to enter into civil unions but not be allowed to get married. And 24 percent said they should not be allowed to have any type of legal union."
In the U.S., however, 31 states have outlawed gay marriages, according to FOX News.
"A decision in favor of gay marriage could set a national rule and overturn every state constitutional provision and law banning same-sex marriages. A ruling that upheld California's ban would be a setback for gay marriage proponents in the nation's largest state, although it would leave open the state-by-state effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry."
We want to hear from you, St. Pete. Should gay marriages be legal? Are civil unions a fair alternative?